OHAPP on emergency rental assistance program


As a new year begins, the Office of Homelessness Assistance and Poverty Prevention held their monthly meeting to discuss plans and updates for each agency, one being the Department of Administration and their emergency rental assistance program,

Currently, Cycle 5 of the first cycle under emergency rental assistance two. In this cycle, the most significant change people can expect is that those who have qualified can now expect an extension of assistance of up to 18 months between ERA one and two.

According to ERA Program Manager, Viki Lindlau, they have received 2,122 applications , but only 1,182 were deemed eligible.

Additionally, due to the huge backload in reviewing these applications, some landlords are not getting paid on time, but Lindlau assures that DOA continues to press forward.

Unfortunately, one of the issues they currently face is displacement because of the limited assistance they have for those who are getting displaced, so instead of 90 days like in Cycle 4, it is now 30 days of assistance they can provide.

The current plan for better assistance with people in displacement is to keep the OHAPP office and Mayor Robert Hofmann up to date.

Viki Lindlau, ERA Program Manager says, “We now will be updating him every week, those people that are in displacement and their suspense date to when their dates will actually expire so he can actually have his team can have a heads up to who may possibly be coming over to OHAPP.”

Additionally, DOA will be providing an OHAPP release form, in the case of someone entering displacement , they will sign the release form in order for OHAPP to gather information about them for a head start in the process to assist them.

Furthermore, during the meeting, Director for Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness, Therese Arriola, brought the question on what can be done to help these people find jobs with the market opening up rather than providing them constant assistance such as requiring applicants to attend job fairs.

“We gotta help them to the point where they can make their rent and so if finding a job or skill building is the key, what are we doing to get them there,” says Arriola.

Although there is no current requirement for ERA applicants, Rob San Agustin from the office of the Lieutenant governor has said that people interested can reach out to OHAPP for further assistance when it comes to seeking future employment.

He added that, OHAPP will then forward resumes to different organizations and departments on island such as the Department of Labor to help find a position fit for that individual.

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Althea Engman or as she is referred to as Thea joined the PNC team in August of 2021 as their youngest reporter and after a few months she was given the opportunity to be their weather girl. She currently attends the University of Guam while working at Sorenson. Her hobbies include dancing, creating content for social media, as well modeling on the side, she also is a big dog lover. Before working for PNC, she didn’t think about pursuing a career in journalism or a related field but it has helped her figure out a better career path. She covers a wide variety of news beats with a focus on legislation and lifestyle.